Gimme a Quiche – Just a Little One…

Despite my sick, sick obsession with cupcakes, I am in fact the proud owner of a savoury tooth (except for that sudden unwanted appearance of my sweet tooth earlier this year – boy, are me and the entire population of KitKats glad that’s over). I’m not alone in this club and I know several people who would choose a bag of Lays over a bar of Lindt any day, including Christine: every year for her birthday I try out a new Anti-Cupcake in honour of the occasion (I wish I’d taken pictures of the Thai chicken cupcakes with bright pink glittery cream cheese on top *regret face*).

I have a serious gripe with savoury finger food being needlessly fugly. I mean, sure, it might be a bit of a stretch to make a chicken liver look appealing, but there’s no harm in trying. No-one ever bakes cupcakes and then just shoves a cocktail stick through it and expects people to react with enthusiasm.

{finger food should be appealing...

{finger food should be so cute and appealing…

... that people come back for seconds}

… that people come back for seconds}

Having aired my views before, I’ll shut it and tell you about what I made for Christine’s Retirement Party (I know, right! She doesn’t look old enough to me either – I bet she gypo’d the forms 🙂 ).

So I’ve done Anti-Cupcakes in the past and I felt that this occasion deserved something special… and so I give you…. faux lemon meringue pie!! Ta-Da!! AKA quiche, with mash piped on top. Also a little rosemary garnish, because I thought they looked a bit bland – which, in hindsight, turned out to be good for differentiation from the real mini lemon meringue pies at the party.

all in a row

I’ve never made mini-quiches before because somehow in my mind they always seemed like a fiddly, poshly-named French excuse for scrambled eggs on pastry, but I was pleasantly surprised. Super easy and they tasted great (except I’m not a huge fan of mash made from powder, but since I don’t eat potatoes anymore – damn you, Dr. Atkins! – its a convenient alternative for moments of Anti-Cupcakery).

gotta love old ladies

For 12 mini anti-lemon meringue pies:

400g shortcrust pastry – just buy it in the freezer aisle. Life is short, especially on a weeknight.

1 slice of ham. Seriously. You could leave it out since it’s such a negligible quantity, if you aren’t into piggy products.

A tiny bit of grated cheddar or crumbled feta – I used both, about 30g of each.

1 egg. A whole one.

1/8 cup of cream. Take your 1/4 cup measure and half-fill it. OK fine, that’s laziness on my part. I did the math – it’s 2 tablespoons.

400g mashed potatoes

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup more cream

stamp stamp stamp

little cups waiting for cheeeeesy goodness

i am ham

nibbly bits

quick as a quiche

tanned golden brown

So easy-peasy – preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, give a shallow muffin tin (quiche tin? I actually don’t know what it’s called) a blast with nonstick spray.

Roll the shortcrust pastry a tad bit thinner if you, like me, feel cheated when you bite into a pie and it’s 90% dry sad crustiness. Stamp out circles with the same diameter as the muffin tin hollows. I have the perfect sized cookie-cutters, but we can’t all be perfect so use the top edge of a drinking glass as an alternative.

Chop up the ham and evenly distribute the ham and cheese amongst the cups. Whisk the egg and cream together and pour a little in each cup – it will rise a bit, but will also flop a bit on cooling which is okay since the mash will cover it up.

Pop the quiches into the oven for 18 – 20 minutes. While they’re cooling, mix the mash, yolk and extra cream until smooth and beautiful to behold. If you are a fellow greedyguts, sneak in a little more cheese – parmesan works since you won’t see little speckles of colour in the final product. Put it in a piping bag and make little swirls on top of the semi-cooled quiches, then pop them back into the oven until the mash is just a tiny bit tanned. I poked a tiny snippet of rosemary into the mash just before baking again, but this is entirely optional.

Serve at room temperature and don’t tell anyone what’s in it…

ready for round 2

{spot the imposter}

{spot the imposter}

Happy Retirement Christine!!



PS: I often find that Google picks up very strange things when I run a search. This is by far the weirdest search result I’ve had today – a play. About quiches, amongst other things).


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